Chords Class for Adults 9/30: The what and how so you can play the songs you want!

Hey Northeast LA, Happy first day of fall! I'm happy to announce the first Chords Class of the season is one week from today. This class covers:

_ Chords basics and review for those who need it: major vs minor, some inversions. No experience required!
_ Diminished, augmented, and who the heck uses them and why
_ 7ths and 4-note chords (as time allows) - if we don't get to it and you're down, check out the class the following week (Thurs, Oct 8).

Sept 30, 6:30pm. Full details on Facebook, please RSVP! 

Next Songwriting Group: Saturday October 3. Join in the fun and group work!

Hello musicians and musicians in the making! 

We had a wonderful songwriting group Sept 12 at the studio! 6 of us shared our goals, work thus far, tips, and got started on the group prompts. We workshopped an amazing song by Dylan (pictured at right) - very fun and engaging for everyone.

The prompts are assignments we all do and the results are always really fun and inspiring to others. These serve a couple purposes:

  1. The prompts are songwriting exercises, so the pressure is off. Having a place to start means you don't tie yourself in knots trying to write The Great Song. As a result, things flow and often surprising things come out of it - like melodies, lyrics, or even whole songs you can use.
  2. When everyone writes from the same starting point, every result is different. You get to see what other people in the group did with the same prompt (chords, lyrics, or more to start from) and those things you didn't think of inform your writing next time.

The prompts that are "due" next time are listed at the bottom. Ask if you have questions or need help - no experience is required here!

Next class: Saturday October 3, 3-4:30pm. Space is limited - please RSVP at Facebook; class is usually 5-8 people and consists of a group chat about progress and roadblocks; advice and technique; sharing recordings / playing songs on guitar or piano (past work is great, or new songs since last time); and looking at the prompts / group exercises, which Bobby creates and shares with you.

First class: FREE  /  $20 donation after. Snacks and swimming provided after! RSVP on Facebook please! >>


OCTOBER PROMPTS: Your choices are 2 or more of the following:

  1. INDEX CARD BLIND CO-WRITING. Write an original lyric on an index card (single side only, the quicker the better) and as soon as you've written it down, take a picture or type of the lyrics and email them to Bobby; set it to music, it should be less than 120 seconds long. Record your song quickly without editing and share it with me. Bobby will trade lyrics with a partner, who will make a new song from your lyrics without hearing your recorded version or knowing who wrote it. You'll make a new song from that person (or another's) lyrics. We'll share both recorded versions of yours and your partners' songs at group class, when you'll find out who was your partner.
  2. OPTIONAL: LYRIC-FIRST WRITING WITH A LYRIC EVERYONE KNOWS - 'Stand By Me': Last time, we took the lyrics for Yesterday by the Beatles and everyone had very different, beautiful results! For October write a new song with the lyrics from Stand By Me with different chords and melody and even instrumentation. This is a challenge because you'll hear the original melody in your head. Change to minor key, come up with chords first, or hum a melody into your phone's recorder. Improv is key or start with a stock progression (a good idea for songwriting any day) using Autochords or a similar app. Another tip: try altering the pacing of the lyrics; don’t pause in the same places. You can expand the lyrics as well - add a verse!
  3. OPTIONAL: CHORDS-FIRST WRITING in Eb. Write a song of any length based on these chords. Try improv on it. They can be the only chords, or they can be a verse with different chords in a chorus, or vice-versa. They just have to be present somehow. Eb, F7, Ab add 9; optional 4th chord (every time, or here and there: Bb sus4). Need chord help? 

That's it! Thanks, and don't forget to RSVP on Facebook, thanks!

Next Songwriting Group: Saturday September 12!

Hello musicians and musicians-to-be, 

We had a wonderful songwriting group last night at the studio! 5 of us shared our goals, work thus far, tips, and got started on the group prompts. These are assignments we all do and the results are always really fun and inspiring to others. These serve a couple purposes:

  1. The prompts are songwriting exercises, so the pressure is off. Having a place to start means you don't tie yourself in knots trying to write The Great Song. As a result, things flow and often surprising things come out of it - like melodies, lyrics, or even whole songs you can use.
  2. When everyone writes from the same starting point, every result is different. You get to see what other people in the group did with the same prompt (chords, lyrics, or more to start from) and those things you didn't think of inform your writing next time.

Here are the prompts and also at right - yes, they were posted before the last class; we got them started and they're "due" next time. Ask if you have questions or need help - no experience is required here.

Next class: Saturday September 12, 3-4:30pm. Space is limited - please RSVP at Facebook; class is usually 5-8 people and consists of a group chat about progress and roadblocks; advice and technique; sharing recordings / playing songs on guitar or piano (past work is great, or new songs since last time); and looking at the prompts / group exercises, which Bobby creates and shares with you.

First class: FREE  /  $20 donation after. Snacks and swimming provided! RSVP on Facebook please! >>

Coming Up: First Songwriters Group of Summer

Hello, songwriters! I'm happy to announce the group is returning after a break for a couple months. I hope you're having a great summer!

We start up again for the fall on Saturday, August 15 Friday August 21 - date has changed! It's a great collection of people at different levels sharing new music and giving feedback.

When: Saturday, August 15, 2015, 3 to 4:30pm Friday August 21, 7-8:30pm -- free this month!
What: Songwriters Group Class for any level
Why: To share your work and get inspired to keep writing, get started, or collaborate!

RSVP for the August 21 class >>

In the past I've given a new assignment for classes every 3 weeks; this fall, I'm giving 2-4 assignments for the whole month, and you can pick which ones to complete, knowing that I may give you an individual assignment to guide your progress. This will enable you to work on assignments for your lessons to get feedback before the group!

These aren't due at the August class but you're encouraged to get started on at least one. You can present your work at the next class if needed.


Your choices are 2 or more of the following:

1.  LYRIC-FIRST WRITING WITH A LYRIC EVERYONE KNOWS: Take the lyrics for Yesterday by the Beatles. Write a new song with them with different chords and melody and even instrumentation. This is a challenge because you'll hear the original melody in your head. Change to minor key, come up with chords first, or hum a melody into your phone's recorder. Improv is key or start with a stock progression (a good idea for songwriting any day) using Autochords or a similar app. Another tip: try altering the pacing of the lyrics; don’t pause in the same places. You can expand the lyrics as well - add a verse!

2.  CHORD, MELODY FIRST WRITING: RE-WRITING LYRICS TO AN EXISTING SONG. You may alter the melody as you see fit, but keep the general chords, rhythm, and feel of the original song, which is TBA (stayed tuned or RSVP for more).

3.  LYRIC-FIRST WRITING AND SWAPPING: Write an original lyric on an index card (single side only, the quicker the better); set it to music, it should be less than 120 seconds long. Record it quickly without editing and share it with me. You'll trade lyrics with a partner, who will make a new song from your lyrics without hearing your recorded version. You'll make a new song from that person (or another's) lyrics. We'll share both recorded versions of yours and your partners' songs at group class.

4. CHORDS-FIRST WRITING: Write a song of any length based on the chords given. They can't be changed. :) 


At the class please try to bring one assignment in, even if it's just a partial.

You can also bring material you've been working on (recorded, or play for us!) and we'll do a structured feedback loop. You're always welcome to just attend and observe as well. If you need help getting started with songwriting (chords, lyrics, freewriting, object writing are several approaches), just holler! It's OK to come even if you've never written a song before.

Class is usually $30 but free for August 21. Snacks and drinks provided. Please RSVP and you'll get the full assignments, thanks! 

Group classes coming up: April 2015 - chords & songwriting!

There are a few group classes coming up in April; one on chords, and the songwriters group series that is every 3 weeks. The dates: Saturday, 4/4, 12:30pm: Songwriters group Thursday, 4/16, 7pm: Chords class Saturday 4/26, 1pm Friday, 4/25 7pm: Songwriters group - updated date


WHAT: Group Chords Class - Get Augmented

WHEN: Thursday, April 16, 7pm
WHERE: BA Music Studio, Glassell Park
WHO: anyone, you don't have to be a current student! 
Cost: $25.

Please RSVP as soon as you're able; minimum 3 students / max 6.

This is a basic intro to chords beyond major and minor; when they're used, how they're formed, and some great listening examples. If you're curious about jazz(y) chords and their use in pop, broadway, and standards, come find out! This class is highly encouraged before moving on to extended note chords (7ths, 9ths, etc.).

WHAT IS IT?
The first music theory night at the new Bobby Apperson Music Studio!
Come Strike a Chord' * Covering chords (what - how - why) and what to do with them!
This kicks off 2015 group classes on a variety of music & theory subjects.

WikiPedia says:
Music theory is the study of how music is written and played. Music theory distills and analyzes the fundamental parameters or elements of music—rhythm, harmony (harmonic function), melody, structure, form, and texture.

WHAT ISN'T IT?
It is NOT a piano lesson and you don't have to perform or get up in front of people at all. A lot of it is written - on the board, on your clipboard, and then demonstrated and played.

DETAILS
* For adults
* Covering chords (what - how - why) and what to do with them!
* Visual, written, verbal and piano / interactive group lessons
* 7-8:15pm at the studio (PLEASE BE ON TIME or a bit early!)
* $25 and some snacks and drinks will be available
* bring a friend or partner!

At the end you can vote on upcoming subjects, like:
More of the same
Songwriting & melody
Composition
Performance class / master class
Guest artist classes (voice, guitar, other)
Improvisation
Ear training (hearing intervals and chords without looking)
Harmony / Voice leading
Listening party and/or music history


Also in April:
Songwriters group Saturday April 4. 

12:30pm arrivals (12:45 class start).
Class ends at 2pm. $30.

Everyone is having fun with this group and the assignments are fun and inspiring; so is hearing what others are working on!

This session's group assignment is a melody (optional 2nd melody) for song development. Please bring current song work as well to workshop afterwards if you want.

RSVP for the Songwriters Group

After the 4/4 class, next songwriters group is April 25 (they are every 3 weeks).


Thanks, happy music-making, and happy April! 

Coming soon: Group Classes and Summer Camp at Bobby Apperson Music Studio!

Check back here soon for more information on 

The Atwater Village studio grand opening party and performance

The Atwater Village studio grand opening party and performance

  • Summer Camp for kids!
  • Group classes - children
  • Group classes - adults

These classes will feature, among other concepts:

  • Basics of piano
  • Songwriting
  • Chords
  • Music theory
  • Musicality
  • Singing in tune
  • Improvisation
  • Transposing (changing keys)
  • Accompanying yourself or someone else - singing while playing is hard!

Also coming soon:

  • The next studio open house! The Atwater Village launch party last month was for friends and family - the next, for students and the community. Come see the space, meet me if you haven't, and hear me and others play (or play, yourself!)
  • Adult student meet-ups for socializing and making music
  • Summer recitals!

Contact me today to be on the list for more updates as they come, to ask questions, or make a suggestion! Thanks!